Steven, a disciple and servant of Jesus the Christ and church delegate was being accused of blasphemy by the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish court in Jerusalem. In his defense, Stephen quotes scripture and delivers an exhortation to those he considers guilty of crucifying the Messiah.
“9 And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.” (Acts 7:9-10)
Stephen now mentions how Jacob’s sons, our of jealousy sold their brother Joseph to the Egyptians as a slave. But, God’s plan was revealed when Joseph found favor with the Pharaoh who raised Joseph to royal honors, placing the young Jew as second in command of Egypt.
“11 Now a famine and great trouble came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and our fathers found no sustenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.” (Acts 7:11-12)
Stephen testifies that Yahweh saw to it that a famine would come over the land of the forefathers, forcing them to travel to Egypt where Joseph, under Pharaoh’s authority had overseen storing of grain to prepare for the dearth which was to last for seven years.
“13 And the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to the Pharaoh.” (Acts 7:13)
Stephen shares how the second time Joseph became known to his brothers, the Jewish patriarchs were humbled by the glory of God and His perfect plan to raise Joseph to a royal standard in Egypt.
“14 Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people.” (Acts 7:14)
There were sixty-six relatives from Canaan, and nine sons fathered by Joseph in Egypt, which comprised the seventy-five people cited by Stephen.
“15 So Jacob went down to Egypt; and he died, he and our fathers. 16 And they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem.” (Acts 7:15-16)
Stephen closes his recapitulation of the history behind the Jewish Patriarchs in Egypt by elaborating on their burial place, in Shechem, on land purchased by Jacob for one hundred pieces of silver. The reason why Stephen, a master of Jewish scripture chose to tie Abraham to the land purchased instead of Jacob, the actual owner of the land remains unknown. Perhaps it was lost in translation or republication.
The bottom line here is that the patriarchs were buried in Shechem, a place without a temple nowhere near Jerusalem, which was one of the points made by Stephen during his preaching, that God speaks and moves in His children in all places, not only in Jewish temples, or churches. Let’s pray!
Weekly Prayer Back to Top
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre